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Value of Copyright Protection in Relation to Freedom of Speech Essay

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Updated: Nov 12th, 2021

The phrase copyright protection can be used to mean two different things. One is the sole control bestowed on authors, inventors, and owners of information by copyright law. In the1996 act more copyright protection was created prohibiting the use of materials and images that are copyright protected. It can also mean the methods of copy protection that protect digital data from being copied or replicated. However, this application of the concept is not used often and in its place copy protection is used. (Warwick, 1999)

Copyright entitles the creator of work, art, or materials sole rights for a given period, this covers the rights to publication and transfer but is made available for use by the public after this time. This law is applied to every work that solely comes from a particular artist. Under this law, the author is recognized as the sole author of the work and has complete rights over the work. In law, copyright is covered under intellectual property together with trademarks and patents. (Warwick, 1999)

Freedom of speech on the other hand is the right to speak freely without fear of restriction or limitation of any kind. The phrase, freedom of expression is often used to mean the acts of seeking, getting, and transfer of information and ideas in addition to verbal speech regardless of the model used. Being free to think is not the same as being free to express yourself though they are close. However, in the application, the right to freedom of speech is subject to restrictions therefore not absolute in any country. According to the Universal Declaration of human rights article, 19 freedom of speech is recognized as a human right.

In the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights freedom of speech, it’s depicted as the right to air views without interference whatsoever. It’s also recognized in European, American, African, and international human rights laws. Freedom of speech and expression can be traced to early human rights documents such as the declaration of the rights of man of 1789 and the British Magna Carta of 1215. (Lemley & Volokh, 1998)

The areas of freedom of speech that relate to copyright protection include seek, receipt, and imparting or exchange of information and ideas, this may be oral, written, printed, internet, or in art form. Freedom of speech is highly related to other rights and may be limited/ restricted when conflicting with other rights. (Lemley & Volokh, 1998)

The value of copyright protection in relation to freedom of speech can be shown in the seek of information and ideas that form part of the right in that in the seek for this information, the person in question has to observe copyright protection by not using materials covered in this protection without the consent of the owner that may lead to a criminal offense that is subject to legal proceedings. (McDonnell, 1998)

The receipt of information and ideas from materials that are copyright protected has to be restricted to the copyright protection to avoid the offense of direct copy of the materials that amounts to a criminal offense. Further in the imparting or exchange of the information and ideas that can either be in writing, print, art or oral form, the involved party has to restrict themselves not to engage in the copyright of protected materials that may lead to legal proceedings for the offense of copyright. (Warwick, 1999)

The value of copyright protection highly limits the freedom of speech as it restricts it in the seeking, receipt, and imparting of information and ideas of other parties. It is therefore important in the protection of personal or other materials that are copyright protected.

List of references

Lemley M.A & Volokh E. (1998). Freedom of speech and injunctions in Intellectual property cases. Duke Law Journal Vol. 48. No2.

McDonnell B. (1998). Freedom of speech and Appellate and summary judgment review in copyright cases. Web.

Warwick S. (1999). Is copyright ethical? An examination of the theories, laws and Practices regarding the private ownership of intellectual work in the United States. Web.

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